What Houseplants and Flowers Are Safe for Cats?

Updated: 7/11/20242-4 minutes
owner planting flowers with white cat

If you’re like me, buying new flowers and plants for the home is a joyous act but stressful if you’re worried your cat might munch on them. Thankfully, with the help of our experts, we can show you the houseplants and flowers safe for cats.

Our experts share a guide on which flowers and plants are safe for cats to be around so cat parents like you can rest easy. We’ll discuss plants and flowers poisonous to cats, guide you on what to do if your cat has eaten a dangerous plant or flower, and offer tips on keeping your feline friend from eating houseplants and flowers in the first place.

Flowers That Are Safe for Cats

Are you wondering what flowers are safe for cats? Here are a few flowers that are not toxic to cats. These are some of the most popular indoor flowers safe for cats, and some of what outdoor flowers are safe for cats. Please note that you should keep these flowers out of cats’ reach regardless, as they can cause minor indigestion.

Wax Flower

Are wax flowers safe for cats? Are they real? Yes, and yes. Despite their possibly artificial-sounding name, these are not artificial flowers but delicate flowers that commonly work as lovely fillers in floral arrangements. Feel free to combine wax flowers with any other flowers mentioned in this article to form a cat-safe bouquet.

As with each of the cat-safe flowers and plants we’re going to discuss here, while they won’t pose a serious risk to your furry friend’s health if consumed, it’s still a good idea to keep them out of reach to avoid a possible stomachache.

Phalaenopsis Orchid

Among the most popular houseplant varieties of orchids in many grocery stores today, Phalaenopsis orchids are not poisonous if accidentally eaten by your cat. These orchids are also known as: 

  • Moth orchids 
  • Moon orchids

Its flowers bloom once a year during winter. The orchids are sometimes referred to as “moth orchids” due to their petals’ moth-like appearance. 

Blushing Bromeliad

Blushing bromeliads are vibrant flowering plants that are easy to care for. They need ample indoor sunlight but not too much water. These colorful plants, which range in color from deep red to green and gold, are all nontoxic to cats. 

Sunflower

Sunflowers are OK if cats happen to ingest them. Sunflowers are not toxic to cats. However, cats can’t enjoy sunflowers as food like humans do. If cats eat sunflowers, they may experience an upset stomach.

African Violet

African violets are another favorite flowering houseplant that’s nontoxic to cats. Its flowers bloom year-round and have oval leaves and slender stalks, with violet, pale blue, white or purple flowers. They’re typically aromatic and can be easy to maintain. 

Gloxinia

Gloxinia flowers are also beautiful houseplants, characterized by bright, bold gradients or spotted red, purple and blue flower varieties. Despite their brightness, they’re nothing to be alarmed about if your kitty is around them. 

Other Safe Flowers for Cats

A few other safe flowers for cats include: 

  • Hibiscus 
  • Rose 
  • Aster 
  • Celosia 
  • Zinnia 
  • Alstroemeria 
  • Dense blazing star 
  • Freesia 
  • Gerbera daisy 
  • Lisianthus 
  • Snapdragon 
  • Statice 
  • Limonium 
  • Madagascar jasmine 
  • Stock 
  • Baby’s breath 
  • Cosmos 

Plants That Are Safe for Cats

Here are a few cat-friendly plants to meet you and your feline friends’ needs. As with any of the nontoxic floral options mentioned, it’s still important to keep these plants out of reach, if possible, to avoid any potential stomachache. Though nontoxic, these plants that are safe for cats are not food for cats

Bamboo

Are bamboo plants safe for cats? Bamboo houseplants are also generally nontoxic if cats ingest them. Regardless, they should be kept out of reach, just in case your cat tries to knock them over and munch them.

Bird’s Nest Fern

Bird’s nest ferns have large fronds that are typically crinkled. Bathrooms often make an excellent spot for this plant because they need high humidity and low-light environments to thrive. These plants are nontoxic for cats but may cause a minor upset stomach if consumed.

Polka Dot Plant

Polka dot plants are characterized by green leaves with unique splashes of different colors, depending on the variety. Regardless of the color or variety of the polka dot plant, these are all safe for cats to be around. 

Peperomia Watermelon

Peperomia watermelon plants have watermelon-like stripes on each leaf. They are considered nontoxic to cats, but it’s still a good idea to keep them out of reach to prevent your cat from nibbling on the leaves. They’re generally easier to care for than most plants, growing nicely in a hanging basket even with less water. This makes them easy to possibly keep perched out of reach of your cat, hanging from a ceiling or up high on a shelf. 

Boston Fern

Boston ferns are also low-care plants that may easily fare well in the bathroom as they require a more humid environment. Their fine-toothed, bright-green fronds characterize them. As with each plant and flower mentioned in this article, though nontoxic to cats, it’s still a good idea to keep them out of your furry friend’s reach.

Other Safe Plants for Cats

Here are a few more of the best plants for cats:

  • Friendship plant
  • Areca palm
  • Common staghorn fern
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Ponytail palm
  • Dwarf date palm
  • Hens and chicks
  • Calatheas
  • Lady palm
  • Zebra plant
  • Lemon balm
  • Venus flytrap
  • Old man cactus
  • Spider plant
  • Painted lady
  • Parlor palm
  • Reed palm
  • Shrimp cactus
  • Money tree

Plants and Flowers Toxic to Cats

What if you encounter flowers that you are unsure about? For example, you might wonder, Are wild flowers safe for cats?

Remember that it's always best to consult your veterinarian if you suspect your cat has been around any flowers or plants it shouldn’t have. Here are a few house plants poisonous to cats for sure to look out for.

Chamomile Flowers 

Are chamomile flowers safe for cats? No. Chamomile tea, for example, has calming effects on humans, but if cats consume large amounts at once or over time, they can get poisoned. It can cause vomiting and diarrhea, among other symptoms. It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian if your cat consumes any food and drink for humans.

Daffodil Flowers

Daffodil flowers are poisonous for cats to eat. They contain toxins that may cause various symptoms, ranging from difficulty breathing to excessive drooling, nausea, rapid heart rate and tissue irritation.

Pom Flowers

Are pom flowers safe for cats? No. Pom flowers can include a variety of flowers and are among the most popular flowers for floral arrangements. Cats should avoid these flowers, as they are mildly poisonous. Ingestion of pom flowers can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats, and dermatological symptoms sometimes also appear.

Carnation Flowers

Are carnation flowers safe for cats? No. Carnation flowers are a type of pom flower, and pom flowers are mildly toxic to cats.

Holiday Plants and Flowers

Several popular holiday-related plants and flowers are toxic for cats. A few you should avoid include the following:

  • Holiday Trees: The oils in pine trees can cause liver damage and are potentially fatal for cats.
  • Poinsettia: Their leaves, if ingested, can irritate a cat’s esophagus and mouth and cause excessive drooling, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
  • Lily: The entire lily plant can cause serious harm, including arrhythmia, kidney failure, or even death in cats.
  • Holly: If eaten by cats, symptoms may include drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Mistletoe: If eaten, mistletoe can cause reactions like holly. Though consumed in larger amounts, symptoms may include a steep decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, seizures, breathing problems, or even death.
  • Rhododendron: Also known as azaleas or rosebay, these flowers commonly appear in holiday floral arrangements. All of this plant is toxic and can cause symptoms from diarrhea to excessive drooling, weakness, vomiting or cardiac failure.

Other Cat-Friendly Plant Resources

If there are plants we may have missed that you're considering for your space, the ASPCA's Poisonous Plants list can be a great resource for shopping for cat-friendly plants.

How to Stop a Cat from Eating Houseplants and Flowers

In frustration, many of us cat parents have typed to search online, How to stop cat from eating houseplants.

The good news is there are more straightforward solutions than you may think. 

So, what’s the number one way how to keep a cat from eating houseplants? Of course, the best thing to do is not to have toxic houseplants and flowers present, if possible. The next best thing is to keep them out of reach from your cat, somewhere that your cat can’t access.

Are wall flowers safe for cats? A wall flower display might be a good idea since it’s likely to be out of reach from your furry friend. They’re most safe if they’re out of reach, and they should include only nontoxic flowers.

A few more ideas on how to stop a cat from eating houseplants and flowers include:

  • Have your plants in a hardy pot; that way, your cat can’t easily access them, knock them over and eat them.
  • Ultrasonic devices can keep cats away from an area by emitting an unpleasant sound that they can hear but humans can’t.
  • Unpleasant odors for cats can deter a cat from an area, though some of the substances that cause these odors are bad for cats, so you’ll still need to keep those out of reach. Smelly substances for cats may include:
    • Citrus scents
    • Coffee
    • Lavender
    • Vinegar
    • Tobacco
    • Eucalyptus oil

What to Do if Your Cat Has Eaten a Dangerous Plant or Flowers

Are you worried your cat ate flowers? If you think your cat has eaten any poisonous plants or flowers, contact your veterinarian. Don’t wait for signs of poisoning. Signs may include:

If you notice any of the above symptoms, contact your vet as soon as possible. Remember that it's always best to consult your veterinarian, even if you’re unsure if your cat ate anything unusual.

One way to monitor your cat more closely for any out-of-the-ordinary symptoms is with the Petivity Smart Litter Box Monitor system, which can quickly alert you to any change in your cat’s feces and urine output.

For more expert tips on caring for your cat, explore our other cat routine care articles.

 

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